Arms Warrior DPS Guide — Battle for Azeroth (BfA) 8.1.5

Last updated on Mar 13, 2019 at 23:30 by Archimtiros 64 comments

Welcome to our Arms Warrior guide for World of Warcraft — Battle for Azeroth (BfA) 8.1.5. Here, you will learn how to play as an Arms Warrior in both raids and Mythic+ dungeons: from the very beginning to maximizing your DPS.

1. Arms Warrior Overview

Arms Warriors in Battle for Azeroth are powerful juggernauts which revolve around building burst damage windows with Colossus Smash Icon Colossus Smash. Their greatest strength comes in the form of an incredibly versatile toolkit, allowing Arms Warriors to adapt to virtually any situation, particularly when facing multiple opponents.

2. Patch 8.1.5 Changes for Arms Warrior

  • There are no Arms Warrior specific changes in Patch 8.1.5.

3. Patch 8.1.0 Changes for Arms Warrior

  • Execute Icon Execute Rage refund has been reduced from 30% to 20%.
  • The Azerite Trait Executioner's Precision has been removed, and replaced by Striking the Anvil Icon Striking the Anvil.
  • Battle Shout Icon Battle Shout now correctly increases auto attack damage by 10%.

4. Battle for Azeroth 8.0.1 Changes for Arms Warrior

Although the core of the rotation is functionally similar to that of Legion, several of the abilities used in it have changed.

4.1. Core Mechanical Changes

  • Avatar Icon Avatar and Rallying Cry Icon Rallying Cry (formerly Commanding Shout) are now on the global cooldown. Charge Icon Charge incurs a shorter 0.5 second global cooldown.
  • Colossus Smash Icon Colossus Smash replaces Battle Cry as Arms' major cooldown, and Overpower Icon Overpower takes Colossus Smash Icon Colossus Smash's place in the Legion rotation.
  • Arms has a new Mastery, Mastery: Deep Wounds Icon Mastery: Deep Wounds, which inflicts a six second bleed after using Mortal Strike Icon Mortal Strike, Execute Icon Execute, Cleave Icon Cleave, and Bladestorm Icon Bladestorm, effectively increasing the damage of those abilities, spread out over a few seconds. The damage from this bleed can critically strike and benefit from damage-increasing buffs and debuffs.
  • Most abilities have had their Rage cost increased, slowing the rotation's pace down from Legion. This is somewhat compensated by several talents, though the spec still plays slower as a whole.
  • Taking melee damage now generates 3 Rage per incoming attack, once per second.
  • Ability damage uses a new formula including both attack power and weapon damage, whereas previously some abilities ignored weapon damage. As a result, strength is more important, and ability damage scales more consistently.
  • Personal buffs and debuffs such as Colossus Smash Icon Colossus Smash no longer increase the damage of trinkets or other non-class ability damage.

4.2. Baseline Abilities Changes

Nearly every other ability has had its coefficient changed, but otherwise function as their Legion counterparts did.

5. Arms Warrior's Strengths

  • Bursty, cooldown driven damage.
  • Versatile toolkit, able to effectively deal with 2 targets by using Sweeping Strikes Icon Sweeping Strikes, 3-5 targets with Cleave Icon Cleave, and burst AoE with Bladestorm Icon Bladestorm.
  • Customizable rotation due to numerous talents which replace or enhance existing abilities.

6. Arms Warrior's Weaknesses

  • Some reliance on Tactician Icon Tactician to fill global cooldowns.
  • Slow rotation, with intermittent periods of unfilled global cooldowns.
  • Lack of sustained combat healing.

7. Viability of Arms Warrior in Battle for Azeroth (Patch 8.1)

Arms has powerful burst damage abilities with short cooldowns, making it both extremely competitive and easy to play in Mythic+ dungeons, where it can align those abilities with each pull. Although it will not always fill every global between cooldowns, those abilities refresh frequently enough that the downtime is minimal, and further reduced by higher gear. In addition to powerful on-demand burst-AoE, Arms also excels at two target cleave, making it the premier choice any time additional targets are involved. Defensively, the ability to near completely immune incoming melee attacks, as well as on-demand stance swapping, only reinforces Arms versatility.

8. Changelog

  • 13 Mar. 2019 (gear page): Updated Gear Set.
  • 13 Mar. 2019 (this page): Added Patch 8.1.5 change log.
  • 12 Mar. 2019 (Battle of Dazar'alor page): Updated tips for Jaina.
  • 22 Jan. 2019 (Battle of Dazar'alor page): Added new tips.
  • 21 Jan. 2019 (Battle of Dazar'alor page): Guide was created.
  • 18 Jan. 2019 (how to improve page): Updated for Season 2.
  • 18 Jan. 2019 (addons page): Added Charge macro, and updated for Season 2.
  • 18 Jan. 2019 (Uldir page): Updated for Season 2.
  • 18 Jan. 2019 (stats page): Updated for Season 2.
  • 18 Jan. 2019 (easy mode page): Updated for Season 2.
  • 18 Jan. 2019 (spells page): Updated for Season 2.
  • 18 Jan. 2019 (FAQ page): Updated for Season 2.
  • 18 Jan. 2019 (simulations page): Added Bloodmallet Racial comparisons. Updated for Season 2.
  • 18 Jan. 2019 (talents page): Updated for Season 2.
  • 18 Jan. 2019 (rotation page): Updated for Season 2.
  • 18 Jan. 2019 (mythic+ page): Added Reaping. Updated for Season 2.
  • 18 Jan. 2019 (this page): Updated for Season 2.
  • 18 Jan. 2019 (gear page): Added Battle of Dazar'alor raid gear. Updated for Season 2.
  • 18 Jan. 2019 (enchants page): Updated for Season 2.
  • 17 Dec. 2018 (this page): Updated viability in Patch 8.1.
  • 11 Dec. 2018 (azerite traits and gear page): Updated note for Gathering Storm.
  • 11 Dec. 2018 (this page): Added Battle Shout to list of changes.
  • 10 Dec. 2018 (FAQ page): Patch 8.1 updates, clarified the use of Mortal Strike during Execute.
  • 10 Dec. 2018 (how to improve page): Reviewed and up to date for Patch 8.1.
  • 10 Dec. 2018 (simulations page): Reviewed and up to date for Patch 8.1.
  • 10 Dec. 2018 (gear page): Patch 8.1 updates, adjusted Uldir Azerite BiS.
  • 10 Dec. 2018 (addons page): Reviewed and up to date for Patch 8.1.
  • 10 Dec. 2018 (enchants page): Reviewed and up to date for Patch 8.1.
  • 10 Dec. 2018 (Uldir page): Reviewed and up to date for Patch 8.1.
  • 10 Dec. 2018 (mythic+ page): Reviewed and up to date for Patch 8.1.
  • 10 Dec. 2018 (rotation page): Patch 8.1 updates, removed Executioner's Precision.
  • 10 Dec. 2018 (azerite traits and gear page): Patch 8.1 updates, added new Azerite Trait Striking the Anvil.
  • 10 Dec. 2018 (talents page): Reviewed and up to date for Patch 8.1.
  • 10 Dec. 2018 (spells page): Reviewed and up to date for Patch 8.1.
  • 10 Dec. 2018 (easy mode page): Reviewed and up to date for Patch 8.1.
  • 10 Dec. 2018 (this page): Patch 8.1 updates, added list of major changes.
  • 10 Dec. 2018 (stats page): Reviewed and up to date for Patch 8.1.
  • 16 Nov. 2018 (azerite traits and gear page): Formatting updates, expanded trait rankings and details.
  • 13 Nov. 2018 (rotation page): Added new toggles, multi-target toggles, better Overpower and Execute use.
  • 04 Sep. 2018 (gear page): Updated BiS for Uldir release.
  • 04 Sep. 2018 (Uldir page): Updated for Uldir release.
  • 04 Sep. 2018 (rotation page): Improved stipulations for Deadly Calm, Skullsplitter, and Test of Might.
  • 04 Sep. 2018 (mythic+ page): Updated for Mythic+ release.
  • 04 Sep. 2018 (talents page): Updated for Uldir and Mythic+ release; removed legendary reference.
  • 04 Sep. 2018 (enchants page): Updated for Gale-Force buff.
  • 28 Aug. 2018 (azerite traits and gear page): Integrated Bloodmallet charts.
  • 28 Aug. 2018 (simulations page): Integrated Bloodmallet charts.
  • 28 Aug. 2018 (gear page): Updated BiS list for Azerite hotfixes and integrated Bloodmallet trinket charts.
  • 18 Aug. 2018 (simulations page): Updated stat weight and Azerite simulations to account for Mastery hotfix.
  • 18 Aug. 2018 (enchants page): Updated recommendations to account for Mastery hotfix.
  • 18 Aug. 2018 (stats page): Updated stat weights and Mastery description to account for hotfix.
  • 18 Aug. 2018 (talents page): Changed dungeon talent recommendation.
  • 18 Aug. 2018 (rotation page): Clarified Sweeping Strikes use alongside Bladestorm.
  • 18 Aug. 2018 (azerite traits and gear page): Updated simulations to account for Mastery hotfix.
  • 17 Aug. 2018 (easy mode page): Updated stat recommendation and Mastery description to account for hotfix.
  • 14 Aug. 2018 (mythic+ page): Page added.
  • 13 Aug. 2018 (stats page): Updated for Battle for Azeroth launch.
  • 13 Aug. 2018 (rotation page): Updated for Battle for Azeroth launch.
  • 13 Aug. 2018 (enchants page): Updated for Battle for Azeroth launch.
  • 13 Aug. 2018 (FAQ page): Page added for Battle for Azeroth launch.
  • 13 Aug. 2018 (talents page): Updated for Battle for Azeroth launch.
  • 13 Aug. 2018 (simulations page): Updated for Battle for Azeroth launch.
  • 13 Aug. 2018 (easy mode page): Updated for Battle for Azeroth launch.
  • 13 Aug. 2018 (gear page): Updated for Battle for Azeroth launch.
  • 13 Aug. 2018 (this page): Updated for Battle for Azeroth launch.
  • 13 Aug. 2018 (Uldir page): Page added (empty for now).
  • 13 Aug. 2018 (azerite traits and gear page): Page added for Battle for Azeroth launch.
  • 20 Jul. 2018 (gear page): Updated Antorus trinket and racial bonus comparisons.
  • 20 Jul. 2018 (simulations page): Updated racial bonus comparisons.
  • 16 Jul. 2018 (this page): Updated for the Battle for Azeroth pre-patch.
  • 18 Jan. 2018 (azerite traits and gear page): Updated for Season 2.
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